Bearcats Earn Fourth Place Finish in Men's 300-Yard Breaststroke at NWC Swimming Relays

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Willamette University swimmers Kei Otawa (Sr., Moscow, ID/Moscow HS), Matthew Tanigawa (Fr.) and Graham Smith (Sr., Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS) combined for a fourth place finish in the men’s 300-yard breaststroke relay at the Northwest Conference Swimming Relays, Saturday, Oct. 28 at Linfield College. Otawa, Tanigawa and Smith each swam 100 yards in the relay and recorded a total time of 3:27.92. Willamette also claimed several fifth and sixth place finishes during the relay meet. Team standings were not released.

Whitworth won the 300-yard breaststroke with a time of 3:08.33. They were followed closely by the University of Puget Sound at 3:09.29. Pacific Lutheran University claimed third place at 3:22.75.

The NWC Swimming Relays featured men’s, women’s and mixed relays in the various strokes, plus medley relay events. Whitworth won 10 of the 15 races. Linfield and Puget Sound each won men men’s race, while Lewis & Clark College and Puget Sound each won one women’s race. Pacific Lutheran claimed first place in a mixed relay event.

In addition to the fourth place finish by the men’s team in the 300-yard breaststroke relay, Willamette took fifth place in the women’s 300-yard breaststroke, the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay and the women’s 300-yard medley relay. The Bearcats finished in sixth place in the mixed 200-yard medley relay, the men’s 300-yard backstroke relay, the men’s 600-yard freestyle relay, the men’s 300-yard medley relay and the men’s 900-yard freestyle relay.

Willamette’s women’s 300-yard breaststroke relay clocked in at 3:56.37. Swimmers were Becca Fischer (Sr., Billings, MT/Billings West HS), Brittany Thiemens (Jr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS) and Lauren Gard (Fr.). In the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay, Willamette recorded a time of 1:42.77 through the efforts of Tanigawa, Chelsea Hollingsworth (Jr., Portland, OR/Wilson HS), Thiemens and Cason Schmit (Sr., Oakland, CA/Bishop O’Dowd HS). The women’s 300-yard medley relay team of Fischer, Shanley Roxburgh (Sr., Waipahu, HI/Punahou HS) and Hollingsworth combined for a time of 3:31.85.

WU’s time in the mixed 200-yard medley relay was 1:53.26, while the Bearcats recorded a time of 3:15.64 in the men’s 300-yard backstroke relay, clocked in at 6:23.58 in the men’s 600-yard freestyle, timed out at 3:04.16 in the men’s 300-yard medley relay and completed the men’s 900-yard freestyle relay in 9:58.14.

The Willamette swimming teams are scheduled to return to action Nov. 11-12 at the Bay Area Invitational. The event will be hosted by Mills College in Oakland, Calif.

NWC Swimming Relays
Oct. 28, 2006
At Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore.

Event Winners


300-yard Butterfly Relay - Whitworth, 2:48.66
300-yard Backstroke Relay - Puget Sound, 2:48.84
300-yard Breaststroke Relay - Whitworth, 3:08.33
600-yard Freestyle Relay - Whitworth, 5:36.87
300-yard Medley Relay - Linfield, 2:52.98
900-yard Freestytle Relay - Whitworth, 8:56.25


300-yard Butterfly Relay - Whitworth, 3:09.67
300-yard Backstroke Relay - Whitworth, 3:06.48
300-yard Breaststroke Relay - Puget Sound, 3:36.01
600-yard Freestyle Relay - Whitworth, 6:00.92
300-yard Medley Relay - Lewis & Clark, 3:16.2
900-yard Freestyle Relay - Whitworth, 9:27.26


200-yard Medley Relay - Pacific Lutheran, 1:48.72
200-yard Freestyle Relay - Whitworth, 1:37.84
400-yard Freestyle Relay - Whitworth, 3:28.99